Xerium Technologies (XRM)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

August 10, 2011 9:00 am ET

Executives

Stephen Light - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Clifford Pietrafitta - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Kevin McDougall - Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Analysts

Kevin Cohen - Imperial Capital, LLC

Richard Hoss - Roth Capital Partners, LLC

DeForest Hinman - Paradigm Capital Management

Unknown Analyst -

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Xerium Technologies Second Quarter 2011 Financial Results Conference Call on August 10, 2011. [Operator Instructions] I would now hand the call over to Mr. Kevin McDougall, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Please proceed.

Kevin McDougall

Thank you, and welcome to Xerium Technologies Second Quarter 2011 Financial Results Conference Call. Joining me this morning are Stephen Light, the CEO, Chairman and President of Xerium Technologies; and Cliff Pietrafitta, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Stephen will start the discussion this morning with an update on our progress, and then we'll provide further financial details with respect to the quarter. Subsequently, we will open the lines for questions.

Xerium Technologies financial results for the quarter were announced in a press release after market closed on Monday, August 8, 2011. Notification of this call was probably disclosed, and this conference call is being webcast using the link on the Investor Relations home page on our website at www.xerium.com. We have also posted a slide presentation on our website, which we'll refer to during this conference call.

I’d also note that we will make comments today about future expectations, plans and prospects of the company that constitute forward-looking statements for the purpose of the Safe Harbor provision under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those described in Monday's press release and in our SEC filings. The forward-looking statements represent our view as of today, August 10, 2011, and we specifically disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Lastly, on this call, we plan to discuss supplementary non-GAAP financial measures such as adjusted EBITDA that are key metrics for our credit facility covenants and that we use internally to assess liquidity and financial performance, and therefore, believe will assist you in better understanding our company. Reconciliations of these measures to the comparable GAAP numbers are available on our press release and in other materials, which are each posted in the Investor Relations section of our website at www.xerium.com.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Stephen.

Stephen Light

Thanks, Kevin. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Xerium made good progress in the second quarter. I'm pleased with our rate of growth and our improvement. Of course, we have challenges today and certainly more coming as a result of the unstable economy, which our largest customer described as moving "sideways" in a recent earnings call.

Xerium's year-to-date bookings are favorable, 1.2%, when compared to the same period of 2010. Consolidated Q2 bookings compared to the prior year period remained essentially constant, just 0.5% lower, primarily as a result of lower bookings in Paper Machine Clothing, partially offset by very strong roll bookings. The improved roll cover bookings show a significant increase of 17.4% over a rather slow Q2 2010 and 17.1% year-to-date 2011 versus 2010.

In the second quarter of 2011, very strong roll covers segment bookings were recorded in North America and Asia, with North America up 12.2% year-to-date and Asia far more than that. In fact, all regions are positive in year-to-date roll bookings. We believe the majority of this increase in bookings is coming from our new products, which I'll speak to shortly, and from pent-up demand at the mills where it seems that CapEx is one of the first uses of cash that gets toggled up or down depending on short-interval market conditions.

The situation in Paper Machine Clothing is quite different. Here, a year-to-date decline in bookings of 6.2% is a result of 2 factors. We believe the first major recent Paper Machine Clothing bookings have decreased year-to-date is that inventories of all grades of PMC held by customers have recovered to between 90% and 95% of their January 2007 levels and 70% of their unsustainable peak levels in late 2008. While these inventory numbers are averages across industry, some customers have replenished more fully than others and some have learned how to operate with less inventory. So we believe it is not possible to identify overall sustainable inventory reduction trend.

Meanwhile, our PMC backlogs have remained quite strong, and the plants are very busy while we work to increase our production capacity. In fact, the increase in demand has caused us to increase our production at our Australian press felt facility throughout the remainder of the year -- of this year and well into 2012.

The second reason we believe our bookings appear to have softened slightly is our backlogs are stronger than ever, and our production lead times are longer than we or our customers want them to be. This situation is primarily in the press felt product line, where we've enjoyed excellent demand for our new products. As a result, even as we work to manage customer demand and retain customer loyalty, we are investing a large portion of this year's CapEx in new manufacturing equipment. Some of this new equipment is already up and running in Brazil and Austria, and our output has increased substantially. In addition, more new equipment is planned to start up in the fourth quarter of 2011. By this time next year, we are targeting having increased our press felt capacity by more than 34% since January 2010.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com